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The Corps Network Recognizes Secretary Ken Salazar as a Champion of Youth Service and Conservation Corps


The Honorable Ken Salazar, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, accepts The Corps Network’s 2013 Federal Champion Award. (Pictured, left to right: Joel Holtrop, Chair of the Board of Directors, The Corps Network; Secretary Ken Salazar; Mary Ellen Ardouny, President & CEO of The Corps Network; Harry Bruell, President & CEO of Southwest Conservation Corps and Chair of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Federal Advisory Committee)

For Immediate Release                                                                                            

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  Secretary Ken Salazar of the U.S. Department of the Interior received The Corps Network’s highest honor, the Federal Champion Award, at a ceremony in the Cannon House Office Building on Wednesday, February 13, 2013.

Every year, The Corps Network presents the Federal Champion Award to policymakers and public officials whose work promotes and encourages the growth and sustainability of America’s youth service and conservation corps. The Honorable Ken Salazar was selected to receive the 2013 Federal Champion Award for his continued dedication to youth corps and for providing leadership in the creation of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, based on the model of the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has been a committed advocate for our nation’s youth and our public lands for over 25 years. During his tenure as Secretary from 2009 – 2013, Secretary Salazar has been instrumental in developing programs to encourage today’s youth to participate and appreciate our natural resources. He was a key player in the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, designed to develop a 21st century conservation and recreation agenda. Part of this plan has been the development of a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps. Secretary Salazar also established the Office of Youth within the Department of Interior, making it the only department with a secretarial-level office devoted solely to youth employment and education programs. Secretary Salazar spoke at the award ceremony about the importance of encouraging environmental stewardship in America’s youth.

“I am deeply appreciative of the Federal Champion Award from The Corps Networks. Working to create a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps with you as our partners has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my tenure as Secretary of the Interior,” said Secretary Salazar. “Thank you for employing the youth who represent the promise of our future.  You are inspiring our next generation of conservationists, scientists, historic preservationists and managers.”

The work of Secretary Salazar makes possible the work of youth service and conservation corps throughout the country. His support of initiatives like the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative helps Corps put youth and returning veterans to work protecting, restoring and enhancing our nation’s natural beauty.

“We wish to thank Secretary Salazar for his support of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps,” said Mary Ellen Ardouny, President and CEO of The Corps Network. “This initiative will not only continue the legacy set forth by the Great Depression era Civilian Conservation Corps, it will also help many young people get valuable work experience and develop job skills while completing projects that improve some of our nation’s most treasured national parks, forests, seashores, and wildlife refuges. This is a combination of positive outcomes that we can all appreciate.”

In addition to the recipients of the Federal Champion Award, the February 13th ceremony also recognized The Corps Network’s 2013 Corpsmembers of the Year and 2013 Projects of the Year. The six Corpsmembers of the Year are young men and women who have stood out as leaders and role models in the corps movement, while the three Project of the Year recipients represented some of the most innovative programs at Corps throughout the country.

Service and conservation corps are comprehensive youth development programs that provide their participants with job training, academic programming, leadership skills, and additional support through a strategy of service that improves communities and the environment. Today’s corps are a direct descendant of the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, through which three million young men dramatically improved the nation’s public lands while receiving food, shelter, education, and a precious $30-a-month stipend.

About The Corps Network

The Corps Network is the voice of the nation’s 143 Service and Conservation Corps. Currently operating in 44 states and the District of Columbia, Corps annually enroll more than 29,000 young men and women in service every year. Corps mobilize approximately 226,000 community volunteers who in conjunction with Corpsmembers generate 21.3 million hours of service every year. For more information, visit corpsnetwork.org or contact Levi Novey at [email protected] or 202.737.6272.

Media Contact:

Levi Novey
The Corps Network
1100 G Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202.737.6272
Fax: 202.737.6277
Email: [email protected]